Imagine with me a special-occasion Friday. You have fun plans that night for a delicious and expensive meal with friends or your spouse. What if you spent the day eating snacks every hour, so that by the time dinner rolls around, you aren’t hungry enough or even desire to enjoy that steak and pound cake for dessert (insert your ideal celebratory meal)? Talk about a bummer.
This is a mental picture expressing my social media feelings these days. I’m spending too much time there, even with good intentions, and it is costing me capacity for what I truly want.
Until a few years ago, I never considered myself a writer, but it has always been natural to write, between me and God, between me and friends and between me and strangers (via the internet). It’s a happy challenge, the practice of writing. I realize it is natural for me because, like being a wife and mom and designer, it’s part of how God made me. It’s a way I cultivate life with Him and invite others into it. It is life-giving to me and I am hopeful it serves the Kingdom well.
I have long considered my presence on social media deliberately and thoughtfully. And I like it! I’m not a hater. But time spent processing and forming sentences here produces something different than time spent there. Where my soul is these days, creating for Instagram feels like choosing a Slim Jim over a homemade chicken pot pie. Or like I’m giving money to Dollar General when I could put it towards a trip with John. I spend thought-energy crafting short captions (with the intent to encourage others) and scrolling, but it leaves little capacity to work on other writing dreams I have or listen to all God might have me say.
This blog is mine to steward and enjoy and serve whoever finds themselves here, and I have been given a fresh excitement and vision for it.
All of that being said, my friends, I am honored and happy and humbled that you read these posts. There are a few things God has uniquely put in front of me to be faithful with and writing here is one of them. For the foreseeable future, I want to spend more time crafting and creating for this space than I do words for Instagram posts. There I’ll share moments. Here I’ll share heart. I would be delighted if you would continue to hang here with me.
This week I was comforted by God’s ‘new day mercies.’ I gave up more than 30 minutes of podcasts and books a day for Lent. If you know me at all, like my best friend said, you’re probably thinking “That is such a Chelsea thing to do, give up READING for Lent!” (I laughed out loud.) 30 minutes of other content and the rest is the Bible. Three days in and I have lacked the self-control to stop at 30 minutes with a new fiction story. I’m tempted to be self-absorbed and let shame in, but God (and my husband) won’t allow it. I’m reminded my reason for the fast, to re-orient my world around Jesus, and today that aspect of Jesus is his forgiving love and mercy. I tell you this story to maybe encourage you in that as well, our ‘failures’ don’t write us off, but can be means of uncovering another layer of God.
Are you fasting from anything this Lenten season?
I close with words from Henri Nouwen:
It is not easy to stay with your loneliness. The temptation is to nurse your pain or to escape into fantasies about people who will take it away. But when you can acknowledge your loneliness in a safe, contained place, you make your pain available for God’s healing. God does not want your loneliness; God wants to touch you in a way that permanently fulfills your deepest need. It is important that you dare to stay with your pain and allow it to be there. You have to own your loneliness and trust that it will not always be there. The pain you suffer now is means to put you in touch when the place where you most need healing, your very heart. Dare to stay with your pain, and trust in God’s promise to you. via